Perhaps it's "new-year-itis," but the urge to examine basic beliefs is tugging at me. The process of reading the gospels laid out in parallel format has begun, and Jesus goes into the wilderness after his baptism by John today. Another component of this study project is compiling a list of questions that arise from each day's gospel reading. Making a list of beliefs about God is another project. Thinking through the concepts of sin and atonement are still occupying a part of my "think time," too.
The very basic difference between Buddhism and Christianity is belief in a Creator-God. The striking thing is that the practical applications of two very different systems of belief brings adherents to the same place of service. This is what prompts me to examine my beliefs about God and to think about how those beliefs influence the way in which life is lived.
A project for this week is re-reading Emerson's essay on "Self Reliance." For many people of my generation the writings of Emerson and his fellow New Englanders have been very influential in forming our views of life and religious belief, and it is my hope that reading this essay once more will remind me of how inspiring the essay was for me as a teen.
My prayer is that each of us will find inspiration, peace, and love through the leading of God, our interactions with others, and writings that challenge.